Liberty mourns the loss of a LHS student
Dear Liberty family,
It is with profound sadness that I write this letter to let you know that one of our high school students, Javon Islam, passed away from a medical complication the evening of Monday, May 22. Our sincere condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Javon.
During this time, as the school community processes the tragic news and copes with grief, the school district will offer counseling and bereavement support services to all of our students and staff. We are speaking to students in groups. Counseling spaces will be available in each building for students and staff. The countywide crisis team will be available throughout the buildings for additional support. Support services will continue the rest of the week.
We will also offer an opportunity for students to gather and support each other in the gymnasium after school. Students who have already left for the day may come back for the after school gathering.
A student death is a difficult and challenging situation that can generate a high level of anxiety and distress for some students. If you feel that your children are having difficulty coping with this news, we encourage you to talk with them about their thoughts and feelings to help them work through their grief or concerns. Please also consider monitoring and discussing your student’s communications (social media, phone, emails, text messages) to further assess their potential needs.
If you feel that your student needs to speak to a counselor or other caring adult, please do not hesitate to call our schools and let us know. Additionally, you should feel free to contact the school’s counseling offices at the below number for guidance on how to handle and talk about any grief or concerns that your student may be experiencing.
- Sheila Wormuth, Director of Guidance: 845-292-5400, ext. 2034
- Liberty Elementary School
- Mary Bayer, School Psychologist: 845-292-5400, ext. 2523
- Jim O’Connor, School Counselor: 845-292-5400, ext. 3251
- April Scardino, School Counselor: 845-292-5400, ext. 3315
- Liberty Middle School
- Michelle Behrman, School Counselor 6/8: 845-292-5400, ext. 2310
- Linda Krokus, School Counselor 5/7: 8-45292-5400, ext. 2110
- Erin Hadjstylianos, School Psychologist: 845-292-5400, ext. 5415
- Lynne Diener, Social Worker: 845-292-5400, ext. 2307
- Liberty High School
- Kellie While, School Counselor A-Gam: 845-292-5400, ext. 2009
- Meaghan Anstee, School Counselor Gan-M: 292-5400, ext. 2007
- Markella Nikolis, School Counselor N-Z: 845-292-5400, ext. 2010
- Amy Dworetsky, School Psychologist: 845-292-5400, ext. 2321
- Gina Castelonia, Social Worker: 845-292-5400, ext. 2032
- 24-Hour Mobile Mental Health
- Community resources
- Sullivan County Department of Community Service: 845-292-8770
- Grief support from Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties: 845-561-6111 or 800-294-0157
More information about the grieving process, courtesy of the Countywide School Critical Incident Stress Management, can be found on our website: https://www.libertyk12.org/department-services/guidance-departments/the-sullivan-county-cism-response-team/
This is a difficult time for everyone, but I know our students and staff will lean on each other as they fondly remember Javon. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, your building principal or your child’s school counselor. Please see our website for contact information: https://www.libertyk12.org/contact-us/
Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Superintendent of Schools